Presentation on theme: "INTRODUCTION TO FAITH- BASED ADVOCACY"— Presentation transcript:
1 INTRODUCTION TO FAITH- BASED ADVOCACY 4/12/2017INTRODUCTION TOFAITH- BASED ADVOCACY
2 The poor you will always have with you. 4/12/2017The poor you will always have with you.Brief bible study on a text that has often been quoted to stop or question advocacy ministry.
3 4/12/2017Matthew 26:6-13Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, ‘Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.’ But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’Matthew’s Version. Note that Jesus said this in the context of his final days and and his anointment for burial. Is this really a message to neglect the needs of the poor?Markan version: While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, ‘Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.’ And they scolded her. But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’John’s Version:
4 4/12/2017Deuteronomy 15:11“Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, ‘Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land”Could Jesus have been quoting this passage from Deuteronomy, with which he was certainly acquainted? His listeners would have also known it. It does not say to withhold assistance – it urges it!
5 4/12/2017Martin Luther:Poverty, I say, is not to be recommended, chosen or taught; for there is enough of that by itself, as He says, “The poor you always have with you,” just as you will have all other evils. But constant care should be taken that, since these evils are always in evidence, they are always opposed.Martin Luther provided his own commentary to the text, urging not only acts of charity, but in his preaching, teaching and example, promoted active doing of justice. He wrote hundreds of letters to the princes and authorities of his day, promoting policies and actions that cared for the poor and vulnerable. Luther’s advocacy, coming from his own understanding of Scripture and theology, his interpretation of what it means to love our neighbor and to pray for daily bread, inspires ours today.
6 Baptismal Foundations 4/12/2017Baptismal Foundations“Let all Christians regard their baptism as the daily garment they are to wear all the time…If we want to be Christians, we must practice the work that makes us Christians.” (Martin Luther, Large Catechism) “To proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of our Lord Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth...” (LBW Rite for the Affirmation of Baptism)As Lutherans we believe that our faith requires that we live daily as members of the Body of Christ. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to serve and walk with people who are hungry, forgotten, oppressed, and despised. All of this is reflected in our understanding of our baptisms.
7 From the ELCA Constitution 4/12/2017From the ELCA ConstitutionThis Church is to:Advocate for justice and dignity for all people, working for peace and reconciliation among the nations, and standing with the poor and powerless and committing itself to their needsStudy social issues and trends in order to discover the causes of oppression and injustice, and develop ministry to further human dignity, justice and peace in the world.Commitment to involvement in social issues is part of the constitution of the ELCA.
8 This takes place through 4/12/2017This takes place throughCoordinating theological study of social issues, developing social statements and messagesELCA World HungerImplementing public policy advocacy – international, national and state – Lutheran World Federation, Washington Office, State Public Policy OfficesThe following slides outline some of the commitments and affirmation laid out in the ELCA statement that governs and guides social policy work and advocacy.
9 Social Statements First Statement is “Church in Society” 1991 Provides foundation for all social statements and messagesGuides work of advocacy, justice and ethics in the ELCAOpens the door for respectful dialogue in denomination
10 Affirmations Church’s Responsibility in Society The God who justifies expects all people to do justice through the divine activity of the Law. God preserves creation, orders society and promotes justice in a broken world.Church must participate in social structures critically. This church must unite realism and vision, wisdom and courage in its social responsibility.Church has an obligation to name and denounce idols, identify sin present in social structures and advocate in hope with poor and powerless people.
11 Affirmations Baptismal Vocation of all Christians The Spirit transforms for discipleship in daily life, Jesus frees Christians to serve others and walk with people who are hungry, forgotten, oppressed and despised. Christians exercise vocation by being wise and active citizens
12 Affirmations Community of Moral Deliberation Christians often disagree passionately on responses to social questionsbecause we share a common faith, we are freed and obligated to deliberate togetherrespectful dialogue is critical in our discernment of what is the will of God
13 Commitments Sustaining Vocation Foster a faith that is active in love, a love that seeks justice, and an insight that strives to discern what is right, good and fitting;Support its members in their callings to love their neighbor, to mend the creation, to advocate justice and mercy in situations of brokenness, and to seek peace where there is conflict;
14 Commitments Witnessing as an Institution Develop social statements …that will guide the life of this church and inform the conscience of its members in the spirit of Christian libertySpeak out on timely, urgent issuesWork with and on behalf of the poor, powerless, those who suffer, using its power and influence with political and economic decision-making bodies to develop and advocate policies that seek to advance justice, peace and the care of creationExpect bishops, pastors, lay church leaders to pray for and to exhort those in positions of authority on the basis of God’s prophetic word
15 Commitments Deliberating on Social Questions Be a community where open, passionate, and respectful deliberation on challenging and controversial issues of contemporary society is expected and encouraged – moral deliberationDraw on the resources of faith – Scripture, church history, theology, knowledge and personal experience - and reason to learn and discern how to respond to contemporary challengesEngage those of diverse perspectives, classes, genders, ages, race and cultures in the deliberation process so that each of our limited horizons might be expanded and the witness of the body of Christ in the world be enhanced
16 In a nutshell“In faithfulness to its calling, this church is committed to defend human dignity, to stand with the poor and powerless, to advocate justice, to work for peace, and to care for the earth in the processes and structures of contemporary society.”
17 Social StatementsSocial statements are social policy documents, adopted by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, addressing significant social issues.
18 AbortionChurch in SocietyDeath PenaltyEnvironmentRace, Ethnicity and CulturePeaceEconomic LifeHealth and HealthcareEducationHuman SexualityUnderway – Genetics and Bioethics, Criminal Justice, Justice for Women
19 MessagesBrief communications that draw attention to a social issue and encourage action on itAdopted by the ELCA Church CouncilIntended to further discussion (not result of widespread deliberation)Build on previously adopted social statements and social policy resolutions
20 MESSAGES Aids 1988 Israel/Palestinian conflict 1989 Changing EuropeHomelessnessEnd of Life DecisionsCommunity ViolenceSexualityImmigrationSuicide PreventionCommercial Sexual Exploitation 2001TerrorismUnderway – Disabilities
21 Social Policy Resolutions Actions, other than social statements, of the Churchwide Assembly or Church Council on matters of social concern:RefugeesSeparation Wall in PalestineNational School Violence CampaignLandminesFair Labor Practices
22 Advocacy Ministry in the ELCA 4/12/2017Advocacy Ministry in the ELCAELCA Washington OfficeState Public Policy Offices, LAMPa is one of 10Lutheran Office of World CommunityThe Washington Office covers international, domestic and environmental issues. The Lutheran Office of World Community represents the Lutheran World Federation at United Nations headquarters in New York.
23 4/12/2017State office work is directed to hunger-related causes such as food and nutrition, shelter and affordable housing, environmental stewardship and justice, employment and income, and access to preventative and primary health care. Arizona California Colorado Illinois Michigan Minnesota Nebraska Nevada New Jersey New Mexico Oregon Pennsylvania Virginia Washington WisconsinThe state public policy of the offices are very diverse. “If you’ve seen one state policy office, you’ve seen one state policy offices”. Some are part of Social Ministry Organizations. Others are integrated into synod structures. LAMPa is a freestanding office that serves all the synods and ELCA ministries in Pennsylania.
24 4/12/2017LAMPa’s MissionAdvocates on behalf of, and in partnership with, those persons who are denied justice, dignity, reconciliation, peace, and access to basic human rights, and who lack adequate representation and voice in the arenas of public policyProvides an advocacy voice for the ELCA , synods, congregations , social ministry organizations and ministries with government policymakersAdvocacy means meeting with elected officials (usually at the State level) or writing to them. This may be done by LAMPa staff, but is done most importantly by Lutherans in their own districts.
25 4/12/2017LAMPa’s MissionEquipping Pennsylvania Lutherans to be advocates byLeading discussion forums on current social issues and public policy to help Lutherans understand the connections between faith and daily life and the call to be a public churchProviding training and resources for Lutherans live their baptisms and grow in faith through advocacy for justiceSpeaking in the Halls of Power means meeting with elected officials (usually at the State level) or writing to them.Equipping PA Lutherans to be Advocates means that LAMPa provides resources and background information so that Lutherans feel comfortable talking directly with their elected officials. This could be a visit to their Harrisburg or District Office, a phone call, letter, or .
26 State-wide poverty study Funding for the State Food Purchase Program 4/12/2017Advocacy Agenda forHunger/PovertyState-wide poverty studyFunding for the State Food Purchase Program-LAMPa’s Policy Council (made up of members of each of the seven synods as well as representatives from other Lutheran institutions in PA) adopts a bi-annual policy agenda.LAMPa will concentrate efforts in two areas:• a resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct an in-depth analysis of the occurrence, effects and trends of poverty and low income and to make recommendations for comprehensive solutions to poverty. This process will encourage private-public partnerships in addressing the root causes of hunger and poverty and involve hearings and public education on poverty that include those most impacted by it.• $20 million in funding for the State Food Purchase Program, which provides cash grants to counties for the purchase and distribution of food to low income individuals. It is intended to supplement the efforts of food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks, feeding programs, shelters for the homeless and similar organizations to reduce hunger. This focus will include LAMPa working closely with synodical hunger and justice committees in providing education and advocacy opportunities.Hunger 101
27 LAMPa is a partnership ministry among Lutherans in PA 7 Synods18 Social Ministry Organizations2 Seminaries4 CollegesCampus MinistriesOutdoor MinistriesPennsylvania Lutheran Network
28 LAMPa ELCA partnerships 4/12/2017LAMPa ELCA partnershipsELCA World HungerCongregational and Synodical Mission UnitWashington OfficeLutheran Immigration and Refugee ServiceLutheran Services in AmericaState Public Policy OfficesLAMPa is a partnership ministry with these difference expressions of the ELCA around the nation. We work particularly closely with the goals and objectives of ELCA World Hunger.
29 Advocacy Agenda for 2011-12 Health Care 4/12/2017Advocacy Agenda forHealth Carepreserving the adultBasic health insurance program for low income adults or identifying an acceptable alternative to cover 42,000 peopleA grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supports LAMPa’s work as part of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network to advocate, educate and mobilize the faith community throughout Pennsylvania on the current historic opportunity to create a quality, affordable health insurance product for at-risk Pennsylvanians, while reining in the cost of insurance for everyone else.LAMPa’s health care priority is preservation of the adultBasic insurance program for low income adults – or a reasonable replacement that would provide continued and quality coverage for the 42,000+ low income adults currently subscribing to it.
30 Advocacy Agenda for 2011-12 Care for Creation 4/12/2017Advocacy Agenda forCare for CreationClean Energy/Green Jobs BillNatural Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale a Clean Energy and Green Jobs bill that will bolster Pennsylvania’s position as a national leader in renewable energy production, spur investment and create green jobs. The bill would also create the largest reduction in global warming pollution in the history of the Commonwealth.LAMPa will continue to provide resources and advocacy opportunities around natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale and its environmental and community consequences.
31 4/12/2017Advocacy Agenda forImmigration Collaboration with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service on immigration-related legislation a Clean Energy and Green Jobs bill that will bolster Pennsylvania’s position as a national leader in renewable energy production, spur investment and create green jobs. The bill would also create the largest reduction in global warming pollution in the history of the Commonwealth.LAMPa will continue to provide resources and advocacy opportunities around natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale and its environmental and community consequences.
32 Coalition Work Interfaith Justice Coalition 4/12/2017Coalition WorkInterfaith Justice CoalitionCoalition for Low-Income PennsylvaniansPennsylvania Health Access NetworkHunger Fighters Coalition –Pennsylvania Works!School Funding CampaignBetter Choices for Pennsylvania Budget CoalitionLAMPa does not do this work alone. We work with many other excellent organizations, much too numerous to mention in this slide. LAMPa is often one of the faces of people of faith in Harrisburg and in coalition work around the state. Without these partnerships far less would be accomplished. Each of the coalitions cares deeply about a particular issue with various member groups approaching it with a different framework. We join together to discuss different strategies to meet our common goal.
33 Communications Facebook Page ACTIONET (statewide E-Advocacy Network) 4/12/2017CommunicationsACTIONET (statewide E-Advocacy Network)Website:- up to date Issue Briefs and Action Alerts** monthly e-newsletter LAMPa HighlightsELCA E-Advocacy from the ELCA Washington OfficeACTIONET is available via or regular mail (though is preferred if you use it. Our alerts are often time sensitive)ACTIONET is our PRIMARY mode of communication and the best way to know what LAMPa is up to and how you can help. You can sign up on the LAMPa websiteLAMPa also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.Facebook PageInteresting facts, figures, articles, quotes, & more!
34 LAMPa Tactics ACTIONET Lutheran Day at the Capitol (Spring) 4/12/2017LAMPa TacticsACTIONETLutheran Day at the Capitol (Spring)LAMPa AmbassadorsStaff presentations and trainings at your siteArrange briefings and legislative visits in HarrisburgProduce educational resourcesAdvocacy and coalition work by staffLutheran Day at the Capitol is an educational event hosted by LAMPa in Harrisburg. It usually begins with a breakfast where you can talk with Legislators in attendance. Then panels, speakers, and workshops, with free time in the afternoon to schedule appointments with your elected representatives. Registration forms will be available in the late fall / early spring on the LAMPa website, or sign up for ACTIONET to make sure you know when it is.The LAMPa staff (or other LAMPa advocates) are available to host forums or special presentations / educational events. Contact us if you are interested in getting your congregation more involved with advocacy by hosting a larger congregational event.
35 LAMPa Staff Director – Amy Reumann Advocacy Developer – Marissa Krey Field Education Students from Gettysburg and Philadelphia Seminaries, Messiah CollegeMaster’s in Public Leadership degree field education siteHundreds of engaged Lutheran advocates around the state, working on local and state-wide issues – including YOU